Romans Devotional

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Day 56 - Between the Lines

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Reading: Romans 16:1-16

Reflective Thoughts

Between the lines

These sixteen verses in Romans are probably as frequently dismissed as the lists of genealogies throughout the Bible. But between the lines are stories of real people who weren't rock stars. They were just faithful. Let me introduce you to a few:

Meet Phoebe, likely a widow. As a woman, she was quite deficient of respect from her culture. Not so in God's eyes. She was a servant of the church and probably held the honor of personally delivering Paul's letter! Meet Urbanus, whose name was common to slavery, yet he is an equal worker with Paul in the Lord. Meet an entire household of slaves who belonged to Aristobulus, the grandson of Herod! Meet another household of slaves from a somewhat shady character named Narcissus. It is likely they served the Emperor Claudius after Nero's death. God places His people everywhere.

The list goes on, but you get the point: men who risked everything; women who humbly walked in divine appointments; slaves who were fellow heirs with the King of Kings. God uses the weak and foolish things of the world to shame the wise!What stories will be read between the lines of your name?

Day 55 - Word and Deed

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Reading: Romans 15:14 -33

Reflective Thoughts

Word and Deed

A division has existed within American Christianity since the end of the 19th century. Certain leaders began to question Scriptural authority. Others reacted, and pulled away from the mainstream, holding fast to their traditional understanding of Scripture. Waves of these scuffles continue up until today. The accusations of one camp toward the other go something like this: "Liberals don't care about truth-they have reduced Christianity to serving social needs." "Conservatives don't care about needy people-they are only concerned about themselves and their doctrine."

If these accusations are true, the Apostle Paul disagrees with both. After 14 and a half chapters of what would become key doctrinal teachings, he gives the Roman believers the big proverbial "therefore." Their obedience is in both word--what they say and believe and deed--what they do (v.14). Paul's teaching was inclusive of both spiritual truth and material fruit (v. 27). How is the Word affecting your word (what you say and believe) today? Will it produce in you good things for others?

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